Are Intermediates Skiers Missing Out On So Much More?

Phil Smith, Director of Snoworks Ski Courses explains why so many intermediate skiers could be missing out on so much more.

Everyday when I’m out on the slopes teaching I look around and see countless intermediate skiers that have the potential to do so much more with their skiing. Maybe what I’m seeing is what they want to do, maybe it’s what intermediate skiers think intermediate skiers do, maybe they don’t know what is possible and could be missing out on so much more with just a little bit of help and advice.

The traditional method of booking a skiing holiday could be back to front. To give you an example, it goes something like this:
1. Research a resort based on price, accommodation, availability, airport.
2. Book a ski holiday.
3. Once in the resort possibly look for some kind of tuition. This is often booked on the bus on the way to the resort or on arrival in the resort.
4. If not committed to tuition then maybe take a private lesson or two during the week to be guided around the slopes and advice in which restaurant to stop at for lunch (nice for sure).
5. If not too bothered about ski school maybe take some local ski guiding.
6. Open the curtains and look at the weather.
7. Sunny – great let’s go skiing.
8. Snowing and cloudy – mmmmm maybe a longer breakfast and see what the weathers doing later.
9. Stick to well pisted runs – blues and reds, maybe try an occasional black if it does not look too difficult and the snow is good.

So what could you be doing instead? Let’s turn the above around and follow it in the other direction.
1. Ski most places on the mountain with confidence. Happily tackle any marked runs and be taken to amazing places and have the confidence to ski them.
2. It’s snowing and cloudy – great, get a quick breakfast and head out as soon as possible to get the best snow and go to the best places knowing that you’ll be able to ski them with confidence. There’s nothing like going skiing when it’s snowing, the slopes are deserted (I wonder why!) with fresh snow everywhere!
3. Open the curtains and go yeeehaaa whatever the weather.

More importantly
4. Have booked the on-snow training well in advance. Have researched the instructors, coaches, the ski school, have had great recommendations and are confident that these are the people you want to teach you.
5. Finally, once all the on-snow tuition has been decided – the most suitable course – the most suitable week. Organise accommodation and travel. Then look for a tour operator that has packages that will take you to the place where you’ve organized the tuition and coaching.
6. Lastly book a skiing holiday knowing that the on-snow experience is all taken care of.

So if the on-snow experience becomes the most important aspect of the holiday then who should you go skiing with?

There are of course many options as always and Snoworks is one of these and I’ll briefly explain why.
First and foremost it’s about our philosophy. We love skiing – and skiing is about going places. Being able to travel around the mountain and have the confidence that whatever comes your way you can ski it. If you’re an intermediate skier this means having the confidence to tackle all ‘marked’ runs. Greens, blues, reds and blacks. Certainly all reds whatever the conditions and possibly even some easier blacks. More difficult blacks will come after a few courses. We’re all about skiing and getting around the mountain.

But maybe you’ve already had this desire but something is just not happening. It’s not as easy as it should be. You just do not seem to be cracking it.

That’s where the next part of the Snoworks philosophy comes in. At Snoworks we are not worried about ‘what’ you look like or ‘how’ you ski. We want to give you the control and confidence to ski places that you would normally not be able to. This means our teaching is what we call ‘output focussed’ rather than ‘input focussed’ and ‘measured’ as opposed to ‘judged’.

To very briefly explain the difference.
‘Input focussed’ is concerned with ‘how’ you ski and is what we call ‘judged’ performance. Are you standing correctly? Do you plant your pole before you turn? Do you ski parallel? Are you feet the correct distance apart. Are your shoulders positioned correctly? Do you have the appropriate weight on each ski? Are you pushing into your ski boots correctly? Of course when practising ‘judged’ sports it depends on who the judges are and this can vary from country to country from instructor to instructor. So the client is possibly left confused and bewildered as to what to do. Unless they stick with the same ‘judge’ of course.

‘Output focussed’ is concerned with ‘control’ and is what we call ‘measured’ performance. What speed do you wish to go at? Can you slow down? Speed up? Travel at whatever speed you wish? Can you dictate where you go? Change direction? Of course as we know measured performance is measured so it doesn’t matter who’s teaching you and you can switch around instructors who specialize in ‘measured’ performance quite happily as measured is measured and it’s the same wherever you go and whomever you’re with.

These two are very different. Some ski schools and instructors are very much into the ‘input’ focused and ‘judged’ method of teaching skiing and some are into the ‘output focused’ and ‘measured’ way of teaching skiing like ourselves and some move between the two. You can decide what kind of teaching you’ve been exposed to in the past and with some research what kind of ski teaching you’d like to be exposed to in the future.

At Snoworks we’re very much into ‘output’ focussed and ‘measured’ performance, so if you’ve not been exposed to this before have a read of many of our other blogs and see what you think.

Take a read of what working in measured performance can do to you and how quickly you can improve. Click here to read ‘The Proof Is In The Pudding’.

So are you making the most of your on-snow experience? If you think you aren’t and would like to, why not give us a call at Snoworks Ski Courses. Or maybe you know someone who you think would benefit from coming on a Snoworks Ski Course.

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